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New studies on surgical options in inherited breast cancer show drastic treatment is not always best
Date:3/26/2010

e others continued regular surveillance. There were no differences in age at diagnosis, hormone-receptor status, and adjuvant hormonal treatment between the RRM and non-RRM groups. The numbers of women receiving adjuvant chemotherapy as well as numbers of women undergoing risk-reducing salpingo-oophorectomy (removal of the fallopian tubes and ovaries) were higher in the RRM group.

During 2033 person years observation (PYO - the total sum of the number of years that each member of the study population has been under observation), 54 patients in the non-RRM group developed metastatic disease as opposed to 18 patients during 642 PYO in the RRM group, incidence rates of 0.027 and 0.028 respectively. As for overall survival, 56 women in the non-RRM group died during 2164 PYO, and 16 in the RRM group during 682 PYO, mortality rates of 0.026 and 0.023, respectively.

"While RRM obviously reduces the incidence of breast cancer in the other breast to zero, as opposed to 66 cases in the non-RRM group, we found that there was very little difference in disease-free and overall survival between the two groups," says Ms Heemskerk-Gerritsen. "We intend to follow up this study by identifying a set of prognostic factors related to survival in breast cancer patients with a BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutation. In this way, we hope to be able to identify a subgroup of patients who may benefit from RRM. In the meantime, we hope that our findings will provide additional information to improve the counselling of breast cancer patients considering risk-reducing mastectomy, by emphasising that the gain that may be obtained by this radical surgery is mainly in respect of reducing the risk of contralateral breast cancer. As yet we have found no benefits with respect to disease-free and overall survival."

In the second study, Professor Pierce and her collaborators from the USA, Australia, Spain, and Israel found that patients treated with BCT had significantly higher rates of can
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Contact: Mary Rice
mary@mrcommunication.org
ECCO-the European CanCer Organisation
Source:Eurekalert

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